Borman Announces MAC Staff Updates – WVU Athletics

West Virginia University Senior Associate Athletic Director/Executive Director of the Mountaineer Athletic Club Matt Borman announced today the hirings of M.G. Bailey, Jake Kirkham and Tyler Wilson.

Bailey and Kirkham will serve as major gift officers, while Wilson has been elevated from graduate assistant for major gifts to assistant director for annual giving.

“I’m excited to have M.G. Bailey and Jake Kirkham join our team,” says Borman. “They both bring unique experiences from different parts of the country that will help our office tremendously. Both M.G. and Jake have very engaging personalities, and I’m looking forward to our donor base getting to know them over the next few months.

“In his two years as a graduate assistant, Tyler did phenomenal work for the Mountaineer Athletic Club. We were fortunate to be able to create a position for him, and our team is going to be better with Tyler.”

via Borman Announces MAC Staff Updates – WVU Athletics.

WV MetroNews – Anderson makes Big 12 officials earn their stripes

The split-second decisions Big 12 officials make before packed stadiums and millions-deep TV audiences each Saturday? They’re not nearly so nerve-racking as the evaluations that follow each Wednesday.

The conference uses a crew of current and retired NFL officials to grade every play from every weekend game. Once those evaluations are distilled down to 35 or 40 plays (a process that can consume eight hours), they are graded again—this time by the man who helped bring accountability to the league’s officiating.

Walt Anderson was repeatedly labeled a genius by attendees at the Big 12′s preseason officiating clinic. If that seems like an elevated opinion of a folksy 62-year-old who instructs part-time employees on how to call holding, listen to the stories of him watching video on fast-forward and still spotting even minor positional missteps by crews. Anderson sees officiating as essentially an eight-piece puzzle with hundreds of contingencies on every snap, and seemingly he sees it all.

via WV MetroNews – Anderson makes Big 12 officials earn their stripes.

WV MetroNews – High school coach says Sills hungry to start for WVU as freshman

Eastern Christian Academy football coach Dwayne Thomas says quarterback David Sills plans to enroll at West Virginia in January with hopes of winning the starting job immediately.

“His goal has always been to be a starter as a freshman,” Thomas said.

Sills, whose astonishing four-year commitment to USC began in seventh grade and ended last month when he re-opened his recruitment, committed to West Virginia on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers, who previously received a commitment from three-star prospect Chris Chugunov, were in desperate need to add a second quarterback to the 2015 class, considering the depth chart is topped by three seniors: Clint Trickett, Paul Millard and Logan Moore.

A pair of 2014 signees—four-star recruit William Crest and junior college transfer Skyler Howard—are waiting for their shots. That means Sills could arrive to a wide-open race next spring.

via WV MetroNews – High school coach says Sills hungry to start for WVU as freshman.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers picked eighth in preseason Big 12 poll

The school’s third season as a Big 12 member begins Aug. 30 in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The Crimson Tide Thursday was picked to win the Southeastern Conference and had nine players make the preseason all-conference team.

Oklahoma, WVU’s opponent in the fourth week of the season and in the conference-opener for the second straight season, was picked to win the league. The Sooners, who have a record eight Big 12 championships, were first on 47 of 56 ballots. Defending conference champion Baylor, with preseason offensive player of the year Bryce Petty, was first on the remaining nine ballots and placed second.

Kansas State edged Texas by just one point for third place. They were followed by Oklahoma State, the only team without a preseason all-conference player, Texas Tech and TCU. Kansas State and TCU were separated by just 80 points, but the Horned Frogs were 127 points ahead of the Mountaineers.

WVU and TCU both joined the Big 12 for the 2012 season. They’ve split head-to-head games the past two seasons with each winning in the other team’s home stadium. They have identical overall and conference records since joining the league, but TCU, with preseason defensive player of the year Devonte Fields and two other preseason all-conference players, is widely considered to be primed for a better season.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers picked eighth in preseason Big 12 poll.

Notes, Notes and More WVU Sports Notes – WVU Athletics

Among former Mountaineers, the most productive running back in professional football these days may not be the person you are thinking of.

Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims?

Not yet.

Steve Slaton, Noel Devine and Jock Sanders in the Canadian Football League?

No, no and no – at least not right now with those three.

Well, how about Ciara Chic?

Who?

via Notes, Notes and More WVU Sports Notes – WVU Athletics.

WVU’s Luck Part of Prestigious Panel – WVU Athletics

The Big 12 Conference announced it will host “The State of College Athletics Forum,” the first in a series of forums dedicated to the issues facing college athletics. 

On August 6, at 4 p.m. ET, in the Trianon Ballroom at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, a broad-based panel from college athletics and the sports media will sit down to discuss the current state of intercollegiate athletics and its place within the context of higher education.

“It is our goal through these forums to bring some of the brightest minds in sports into the same room to talk about the current state of college athletics,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “As leaders in intercollegiate athletics we fully understand that in order to impact change one must frankly look at the past with an eye toward the future.  Addressing these issues will have a transformative effect on college athletics, with implications far beyond the high-profile sports.”

NBC broadcaster and writer Jimmy Roberts will moderate the New York City forum.

via WVU's Luck Part of Prestigious Panel – WVU Athletics.

WVU Sports Podcast – Juwan Staten – WVU Athletics

Jeff Culhane of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG sits down with West Virginia University senior guard Juwan Staten to talk about his experience at the LeBron James Skills Academy.

via WVU Sports Podcast – Juwan Staten – WVU Athletics.

Big XII Football Preseason Media Poll: WVU Picked to Finish 8th

The Oklahoma Sooners were chosen to win the Big XII Conference, receiving 47 first place votes. However, the Baylor Bears were not too far behind in second place, given a total of nine first place votes.

The West Virginia Mountaineers were picked to finish in eighth place, only in front of the Iowa State Cyclones and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Baylor won the Big XII Conference in 2013, earning a spot in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma also finished highly last season, receiving a trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. The Sooners finished among the nation's hottest teams last year, knocking off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

via Big XII Football Preseason Media Poll: WVU Picked to Finish 8th – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Former middle-school prodigy QB commits to West Virginia

Quarterback David Sills, who famously committed to USC coach Lane Kiffin as a 13-year-old seventh-grader in 2010, pledged to West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon, according to Rivals.

The Class of 2015 four-star recruit decommitted from USC last month, a move long predicted after Kiffin was fired last season and the Trojans began courting other quarterbacks.

Sills is no longer hailed as a can’t-miss, once-in-a-generation prospect. The hype has simmered and he’s not among the 19 top quarterbacks listed in ESPN’s national top 300. Yet he continues to be pursued by the likes of Michigan, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Maryland as he enters his senior season at Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Md. That’s the same program that produced WVU receiver Daikiel Shorts and running back Wendell Smallwood.

via WV MetroNews – Former middle-school prodigy QB commits to West Virginia.

WV MetroNews – Allan Taylor compares his ballot to the All-Big 12 preseason squad

Safety Karl Joseph was the lone West Virginia player named to the media’s Preseason All-Big 12 football team on Wednesday.

The hard-thumping junior is entering his third year as a starter, though his first two seasons overlapped with two of the worst statistical defenses in Mountaineers history.

Here’s the complete rundown, which to the surprise of my ballot, did not include WVU offensive guard Quinton Spain. More commentary after the list:

via WV MetroNews – Allan Taylor compares his ballot to the All-Big 12 preseason squad.

WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now: Thursday, July 17

In this edition of the NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now, Allan Taylor discusses Wendell Smallwood’s legal troubles plus we hear from Juwan Staten after his visit to the Lebron James Skills Academy.

via WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now: Thursday, July 17.

WVU and Virginia Tech Finalize Football Agreement to Meet at FedEx

FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, announced today the addition of another high-profile college football game to its schedule. Virginia Tech and West Virginia (WVU) will open the 2017 college football season in a matchup set for Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.

“We are excited to welcome Virginia Tech and West Virginia to FedEx Field in 2017,” said Redskins Chief Marketing Officer Mitch Gershman. “We are proud to continue the commitment to our season ticket holders and fans to host the most competitive and nationally acclaimed matchups in the country.”   

The Sept. 2, 2017 game will mark Virginia Tech’s fourth appearance at FedExField since 2004 and West Virginia’s third since 2012, as the program is also set to face Brigham Young at FedExField on Sept. 24, 2016.

Led by head coach Frank Beamer, the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Virginia Tech has won 10 or more games 11 times over the past 15 seasons, including 13 of the past 18 seasons. With its trip to the Hyundai Sun Bowl last year, Virginia Tech is now one of only two teams in the country to go to at least 21 bowls in row.

via WVU and Virginia Tech Finalize Football Agreement to Meet at FedEx – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Smallwood arrested by University PD

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood was arrested by the University Police Department Monday as a fugitive from justice, apparently in connection with an undisclosed incident in Delaware. Smallwood, a sophomore who blossomed late last season as he was made to model himself after all-Big 12 Charles Sims, is from Wilmington, Delaware.

The University Police said Monday night it wouldn’t comment until this morning. Coach Dana Holgorsen said the Mountaineers were aware of the arrest. “We are looking into the matter and will take action at the appropriate time,” he said.

The 5-foot-11 Smallwood was being held at the North Central Regional Jail and bail had not been set.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Smallwood arrested by University PD.

Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: No preseason hype for WVU, but that’s OK

In a state with few sports diversions through the summer months, where the natives can be mad about football in both the best and worst ways imaginable, any news about the spinning pigskin is gobbled up in West Virginia like a fumble in the end zone.

But maybe there is summer sanity now, just one more change among the many that has washed over the masses the past two years.

Where the preseason magazines popping up on the convenience store racks were like the dawn of a new season, it’s more like the first rays of an obnoxious sun the morning after a night of bad decisions.

Where media days served as the dinner bell for the forthcoming football feast, it feels now like a call to get ready for bed, or at least rest your weary head and pull up the covers.

And all of that is fine for Dana Holgorsen.

via Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: No preseason hype for WVU, but that’s OK.

WVU’s Kevin White: JUCO Transfer to Standout Receiver

Following in the giant footsteps of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey should be regarded as nearly an impossible, or even an unfair task. Austin and Bailey rewrote the Mountaineer passing records on their way to a star-studded 2012 campaign.

Nobody within the WVU football program was expecting that same type of production out of last year’s receiver corps – except for Kevin White.

“[It was] just the way they signaled it,” White said, pointing out the biggest problems in regards to the quarterback carousel that occurred last season. “The way the ball hung in the air different. The way the ball came – it was a little different and a little faster. Other than that, it wasn’t a big problem. I just had to play through it.”

via WVU’s Kevin White: JUCO Transfer to Standout Receiver – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

Quinton Spain Collects Watch List Honors for Second Time in a Week

West Virginia senior offensive lineman Quinton Spain was named to his second national award watch list in a week on Monday morning. Spain earned a spot on the Rotary Lombardi Watch List, which is annually given to college football's best lineman or linebacker.

The Rotary Lombardi Award handed out a massive watch list of 123 players, consisting of 48 offensive linemen, 38 linebackers and 14 defensive tackles.

Spain was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List last week, which is given to the nation's top interior lineman. Last year, the senior from Petersburg, Virginia, was an All-Big XII Conference Third Team selection according to college football expert Phil Steele, and an All-Big XII Conference Honorable Mention pick, selected by the league coaches.

via Quinton Spain Collects Watch List Honors for Second Time in a Week – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

Staten Returns From James Skills Academy – WVU Athletics

It’s been a pretty hectic summer so far for West Virginia University point guard Juwan Staten and he says he has no plans of letting up right into his senior season this fall.

Last month, Staten was one of 13 college point guards invited to participate in the Nike Skills Academy, June 23-25, in New Jersey, and from his performance there he was invited to participate in the prestigious LeBron James Skills Academy, July 9-12, in Las Vegas.

“When I found out I got invited I was definitely excited,” said Staten Monday afternoon. “I tried to get into the gym and get a couple more workouts before I headed out there.”

What Staten saw out in Las Vegas was an eye opening experience, from getting to meet LeBron James to seeing how NBA players prepare themselves for a long and grueling season.

“We talked a lot about preparation,” said Staten. “The things that you need to do to prepare your body as far as eating and training and then we just went through court workouts. They let us know that we need to be aware of our surroundings and the people around us; you have to know how to handle yourself.”

via Staten Returns From James Skills Academy – WVU Athletics.

WV MetroNews – Smallwood faces extradition for allegedly intimidating murder witness

Sophomore running back Wendell Smallwood, projected to be an essential component of West Virginia’s offense this fall, was arrested by campus police Monday and faces extradition to his home state of Delaware where he will be charged with witness intimidation stemming from a 2012 murder case.

Wilmington police told DelawareOnline.com that Smallwood, 20, repeatedly attempted to convince a witness to recant statements implicating his friend who’s charged with first-degree murder.

WVU police declined to discuss details of Monday’s arrest, in which Smallwood was identified as an out-of-state fugitive. Campus police said chief Bob Roberts would be able to provide more information Tuesday morning.

via WV MetroNews – Smallwood faces extradition for allegedly intimidating murder witness.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Running back position has no shortage of talent

West Virginia feels good enough about the quarterback position to have named Clint Trickett the starter three weeks ago, only days before the coaches took a two-week break from summer workouts. They more or less expected the Mountaineers to gather and practice without them and with the offense following the senior signal caller’s touted leadership.

There is faith in the receivers and the depth based on how last year’s newcomers have finally positioned themselves above last year’s veterans. That should give the offense the proper alignment of players to rely on most of the time and players to rely on in spells.

Mario Alford moved from the inside to the outside last season and flourished, and the senior is said to be the fastest player on the team. Teammates marvel at how Kevin White has developed physically between his junior and senior seasons and how easily he ascends Law School Hill during the summer’s torturous trips to the top. Daikiel Shorts, who tied for the team lead in receptions as a freshman, is seen as someone others can depend on to put in the work during and after the allotted time.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Running back position has no shortage of talent.

WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now: Monday, July 14

In this edition of the NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now, former Mountaineer Dan Moses discusses the upcoming episodes of “American Muscle.”

We also hear from Sportsline’s Greg Hunter as he looks at the question marks for West Virginia as Big 12 media day is just one week away.

via WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now: Monday, July 14.